Making contact against West Central Area pitcher Emma Swenson is no easy task. Just last week in a game against Hancock on April 26, the Knights’ ace tallied 19 strikeouts in an 8-7 victory.
Benson knew it would have its hands full in a non-conference game Monday. But with multi-hit nights from three players and a total of 11 stolen bases, the Braves emerged a 5-3 victor.
“(Swenson) threw a really nice riseball,” said Benson head softball coach Barb Schwarz. “We knew it was going to be a battle. The kids worked hard in the batter’s box.”
While Swenson racked up 12 strikeouts, a wild pitch allowed the Braves to get on the board in the bottom of the first inning as Ellie Moesenthin reached home. Lexie Simmonds scored later in the inning on a Marissa Connelly groundout.
WCA (4-4) tied things up in the top of the second after drawing two straight bases-loaded walks. Benson went back up by one after Bella Wolter scored on another wild pitch, only for the Knights to tie it again following a Braves' error.
In the bottom of the fifth, Benson took the lead for good. Connelly got the game-winning run after stealing home. In the same at-bat, a Sarah Brandt ground-ball single allowed Zoe Doscher to score an insurance run.
Brandt and Wolter were both 2-for-3 for the Braves while Adysen Himley, the No. 9 batter in the lineup, was 2-for-4. Wolter was also the winning pitcher, striking out five in a complete game.
Benson’s hot start continues as the team now sits with a 7-1 record. Since 2016, the Braves have won more than seven games in a season once, going 8-10 in 2018.
“It’s been a while, Schwarz said of the strong start. “It’s really kind of fun.”
WCA 021 000 0-3 6 1
Benson 210 020 x-5 7 5
Hitting - WCA: Alaina Sykora 1-3 rbi bb sb, Madi Hanson 1-3 rbi bb, Emma Swenson 0-3 bb, Halle Foslien 1-4 sb, Addison Staples 1-3 bb, Claire Stark 0-4 r-2, Mya Foslien 1-4 r, KJ Nibbe 0-2 hbp, Sydney Ulrich 1-2 2b hbp … Benson: Ellie Moesenthin 1-3 r hbp sb-3, Sarah Brandt 2-3 rbi sb, Bella Wolter 2-3 2b r, Adysen Himley 2-4 r rbi sb, Lexie Simmonds 0-3 r sb bb, Marissa Connelly 0-1 r rbi sb-3 bb, Zoe Doscher 0-2 r sb-2 bb, Rachel Berens 0-2 bb.
Pitching (ip-h-r-er-bb-so) - WCA: Swenson (L) 6-7-6-6-4-12 … Benson: Wolter (W) 7-6-3-0-4-5.